Jordanian forces ‘foil ISIL plot’ in Irbid raids

Security forces kill seven men in northern city of Irbid in series of raids that also left a police officer dead.

Officers of the Jordanian public security department stand guard in the northern city of Irbid
Jordanian officials said ISIL was planning to attack civilian and military sites [Muhammad Hamed/Reuters]

Jordan says it has foiled attempts to carry out attacks on behalf of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group during a series of raids in the northern city of Irbid.

Jordanian security forces said seven suspected ISIL fighters were killed in the raids, which took place late on Tuesday evening at a Palestinian refugee camp in the heart of the city.

One member of Jordan’s security forces was killed and three wounded in clashes that raged for several hours until dawn, the authorities said. Two civilians were also hurt.

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Security forces said they had tracked down the suspected fighters to a residential building in Irbid, and troops opened fire with automatic weapons after the men refused to surrender.

The intelligence service said in a statement on Wednesday that the group members were planning to carry out attacks against civilian and military sites “in order to destabilise national security”.

It added that 13 men linked to the same group were detained in previous raids in Irbid, but did not say when those arrests took place.

Syrian war

Irbid is just a few kilometres from the Syrian border where Jordanian security forces regularly detain sympathisers attempting to join armed groups in Syria.

Jordan is part of a US-led military coalition against ISIL in neighbouring Syria and Iraq. 

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The country is the largest host of Syrian refugees in the region after Turkey and Lebanon.

Jordanian security forces have also cracked down on suspected ISIL sympathisers in the kingdom. Some of those expressing support for the group on social media have been sent to prison by security courts.

ISIL holds large tracts of territory in Syria and Iraq but has sympathisers across the region and beyond.

Its various media publications have called upon its supporters unable to reach its self-declared caliphate to carry out attacks in their home countries.

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Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies